Atlas Descent Trip Notes

The Jebel Sahro Ride is the ultimate cycling adventure holiday in Morocco. Visit Marrakech, Ait Benhaddou and cycle through the Atlas Mountains.

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Last Modified: 05 Mar 2013
Atlas Descent
Trip code: XZXA
Validity: 01 Jan 2012 to 28 Feb 2013
The scenery is wild and varied; we cycle through tiny Berber villages, beautifully cultivated valleys, lush palm-filled oases, and explore numerous crumbling kasbahs. The riding itself is just as spectacular with endless descents on fast gravel pistes, singletrack and donkey tracks. This route is the product of over 10 years research and fine-tuning, offering an unrivalled off road experience through a striking landscape of jagged mountains and gorges. The combined use of four wheel drives and bikes allows us to see a substantial part of the region and gain a fascinating insight into the traditional Berber life.
Great riding and good hotels ensures both adventure and comfort on this exhilarating ride through the challenging Anti Atlas Mountains.
The operator for this trip is our experienced sister company Exodus. Your group will therefore be a mixture of Intrepid booked passengers and other international like-minded travellers.
Table of Contents
StyleImportant notesEmergency funds
ThemesGroup sizeVisas
MapYour fellow travellersIssues on your trip
ItinerarySingle travellersWhat to take
Itinerary disclaimerAccommodationHealth
Culture shock rating Meals introductionSafety
Physical ratingMealsTravel insurance
Included activitiesTransportResponsible Travel
Optional activitiesGroup leaderA couple of rules
Money ExchangeJoining point The Intrepid Foundation
Spending moneyArrival complicationsResponsible Travel projects
TippingFinish point Feedback
Departure taxEmergency contact
Style
Original
  • Original trips are classic Intrepid adventures. With a mix of included activities and free time, they offer plenty of opportunities to explore at your own pace and take part in activities that really get beneath the skin of a destination. While the occasional meal may be included, you'll have the freedom to seek out your own culinary adventures. Accommodation is generally budget or tourist class (2-3 star), but you're as likely to find yourself as a guest of a local family as staying in a hotel or camping. Transport will vary as well. Depending on the destination and the itinerary you could find yourself travelling on anything from a camel to a train or a private safari vehicle. It's all part of the adventure! Original travellers have a desire to make the most of their travel time and really get to know a place, its people and cultures.
Themes
Cycling
Map
Atlas Descent
Itinerary
Day 1 Agadir
Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Morocco.
Meet at our hotel in the evening.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Tafraoute
Setting off from Agadir in our 4WD vehicles, we drive across the plains of the Souss Valley. We climb into the heart of the Anti Atlas range, reaching the high mountain Pass of Tizi Mlil, above the old garrison town of Tafraoute (3 hour transfer). From here we descend on a rocky, old vehicle width track down to Aguerd Oudad where we rejoin the vehicles, and head on to the gritty pistes through the extraordinary boulder strewn moonscape to the famous painted rocks. Following non-technical gravel tracks across the high altitude plains we return to Tafraoute on a mix of good tarmac and sections of sweeping singletrack through the beautiful palmeries. Today's ride is a relatively easy introduction to prepare us for the days to come.
Approximate distance 35km
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 3 Tafraoute
Today's ride follows a spectacular route through the impressive gorges and lush palmeries around Ait Mansour. After a short transfer high into the mountains behind Tafraoute to Tizi Tasrite, we begin the 70km ride, descending through the landscape that contrasts so dramatically with what we saw yesterday. The ride descends through impressive gorges and follows dry riverbeds in places, where the scenery is superb, then we pass through many villages. 30km is off road and 40km is on tarmac, including some major downhill (and one long optional climb on tarmac), then we return to the hotel on the bikes. Back in Tafraoute we can relax in the hotel bar before spending the evening sharing a home-cooked meal and a carpet demonstration.
Approximate distance 70km
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 4 Tafraoute
A short transfer takes us back to the high pass of Tizi Mlil (the start of Day 2's ride). From here we take a 20km high mountain trail above Tafraoute leading to Tizi Tasrite. Stunning views of our previous ride is clearly visible far below. Before the village of Tasrite, there is a short optional singletrack section which shortly leads to the start of a superb 10km switchback, off road mountain descent. The first 4km of the trail are rough and rocky (vehicle unsupported) then the trail gets smoother and the flowing gritty pistes return. A short section of tarmac gives relief before rejoining a fantastic, fast flowing grit piste through the plains and oases of Tafraoute, where Gazelle are sometimes seen grazing amidst the boulder strewn rocks. Reaching the small village of Tahala, the last 15km is an undulating ride on tarmac back to our hotel. Back in Tafraoute there will be time to visit the town, or relax by the hotel pool.
Approximate distance 65km
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 5 Tiznit
We drive for about an hour southwest from Tafraoute to the start of today's ride. After a short off road climb to a high col, there is a choice of a steep technical singletrack descent (followed by a short climb), or a more leisurely piste trail with stunning views. We then take a superb switchback piste trail, nearly 20km down off the mountain, past a number of traditional villages en route to Anezi. A short tarmac stretch offers a break from the stony terrain, but the piste soon returns winding it's way through a scenic valley and crossing riverbeds. At the end of the ride, we transfer approx 30 minutes to Tiznit, an old walled medina town famous for its silver markets. There is a traditional hammam (steam bath) here that we can visit in the late
afternoon, or you can relax by the hotel pool.
Approximate distance 50km
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 6 Immouzer
After an early breakfast and morning transfer (approx. 3.5 hours) we arrive to the small village of Tiqqi in the foothills of the High Atlas.
The landscape here is very different, with Pine and Cedar forests and remote mountainside villages dominating the area. Initially, our track leads past several untouched Berber villages. Mud houses are perched precariously under cliff edges, with locals looking on as we cycle through. After riding across country for several kilometres the track becomes slightly rockier, and we come to a spectacular gorge. Having lunch here, there is time to admire the views and contemplate the two afternoon climbs, before our final fast flowing cross-country ride down to tarmac. Rejoining the tarmac we cycle downhill for the
last few kilometres to our hotel in Immouzer.
Approximate distance 35km
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 7 Agadir
The ultimate off road trail and a fitting finale to this Biking Adventure!
From the hotel a spectacular descent takes us to the coast. Riding directly from the hotel, we take the short scenic tarmac road through the village of Immouzer, before ascending a rough track which gradually climbs for 6km onto a high mountain pass. From here the ultimate 'flyer' to the coast begins with a spectacular 40km mountain descent. The trail is rough and rocky in places as it contours and gradually descends, offering amazing views over the mountains and to the coastline, our final destination. Poor weather may make this particular route impassable, in which case we will make our way out of the mountains through Paradise Valley. This route follows a spectacular winding tarmac road, dropping from the ridges around Immouzer, deep into a narrow gorge, abundant with palm trees and small oases. After a swim or stroll on the beach, we load the bikes onto the support vehicles for the last drive into Agadir (approx. 30 minutes), arriving in time for an optional, relaxing berber massage and a farewell dinner.
Approximate distance 55km
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 8 Agadir
After breakfast, we transfer to Agadir.
  • Bicycle Hire XZXA (XZXA)
    Itinerary disclaimer
    Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. For the latest updated Trip Notes please visit our website: www.intrepidtravel.com
    Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.
    Culture shock rating

    Expect some culture shock. You'll be exposed to signs of poverty and access to services may be sporadic. The food will be quite different to home and English speakers harder to find. Respecting the local culture will make it easier to fit in and really experience the location.
    Physical rating

    Be prepared for some serious physical activity. The majority of activities included on this trip will be challenging. The fitter you are, the more you'll enjoy your holiday.
    For any ride at this level, fitness is important. This trip requires confidence in your own ability and physical condition. It is equivalent to an extended period of cycling at home. Off road cycling experience is recommended.
    Included activities
    Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
    Optional activities
    A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are for entrance only and don't include transport costs to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Optional activities aren't necessarily endorsed or recommended by Intrepid nor included in price of this trip. If you do any optional activities, you do so at your own risk and it must be clearly understood that your participation is your own decision and doesn't form part of your contract with Intrepid. You may be required to sign/complete a waiver form or a receipt for some optional activities.
    Money Exchange
    MOROCCO
    The official currency of Morocco is Dirham (MAD).
    Moroccan Dirhams cannot be purchased outside of Morocco, but it is easy to get cash on arrival.
    The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money is by Automated Teller Machine (ATM). Check with your bank for information on international fees. There are now ATMs (which accept both Visa and MasterCard) throughout all Moroccan cities.
    There are few problems changing money. There are many banks, all operating with equal exchange rates, and without commission. Cash in EUR, GBP and USD dollars are favoured for exchange. Please note that Australian Dollars (AUD) are not accepted in Morocco.
    Travellers' cheques are not recommended in Morocco. While some banks and 5 star hotels will change travellers' cheques this is rare and the process is very time consuming, and commissions can be high (up to 10%).
    For money safety we recommend that you carry your cash and credit cards in a secure money belt or pouch concealed under your clothing.
    Spending money
    Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
    Tipping
    If you are happy with the services providing a tip is appropriate, although not compulsory. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. Please note we recommend that any tips are given directly to the intended recipient by a member of your group as our group leaders are prohibited from collecting cash for tips.
    The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
    Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - leave the loose change. More up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill.
    Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest MAD20-30 per person per day for local guides.
    Drivers: You may have a range of private drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group however MAD10 per person per day is generally appropriate.
    Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline MAD30 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
    Departure tax
    All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
    Important notes
    RAMADAN, EID UL-FITR and EID UL ADHA FESTIVAL 2013:
    In 2013 the important month of Ramadan will be in progress fromTuesday 9th July and will continue for 30 days until Wednesday 7th of August and the Eid ul-Fitr festival will be held directly at its conclusion for 3-4 days. Ramadan is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan business hours are shortened, including opening hours at some tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you should expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month is a fantastic opportunity to travel in a Muslim country and witness this unique period, particularly the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken. Please note that although the Eid ul-Fitr festival can also be a fascinating time to travel it is a period of National holiday. Most government offices and businesses will be closed and some tourist site opening hours may be effected.
    Eid ul Adha occurs approximately 2 months after Edi ul- Fitr, in mid October 2013.
    CYCLING PROFILE:
    Average daily distance: 45km (28 miles)
    No. of days cycling: 6
    Vehicle support: 90% (except on sections of days 2,4 and optional singletrack sections).
    Terrain and route: 75% off road. Approximately 6000m of exhilarating descents, predominantly on dirt tracks and a few quiet roads (depending on how far you ride and which options are taken). Rides become harder as the week progresses. Good fitness and off road experience highly recommended as some steep climbs and descents.
    The tracks are mostly vehicle-width with singletrack options available on most days. Trails are generally good dirt and gravel tracks, though sometimes they are rough and rocky, particularly some sections on days 4, 6 and 7. There are some big climbs (500m+), though these are all optional, with the support vehicles available to give lifts whenever people wish, and of course masses of downhill. Off road cycling experience is recommended, and a good level of fitness is essential.
    AGE RESTRICTIONS:
    The minimum age of clients on this trip is 16 years. Please note that teenagers aged 16 or 17 must be accompanied by (and share accommodation with) a parent or legal guardian.
    LOCAL PARTNER:
    This trip is operated by our trusted local partners, Exodus.
    Group size
    Maximum of 15 travellers per group.
    Your fellow travellers
    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
    Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. However you can download Intrepid's FREE Meet Up app to chat with your fellow travellers before your trip. Meet up, discuss your upcoming trip and share the excitement of planning for your adventure. For more information visit:
    www.intrepidtravel.com/meetup
    Single travellers
    Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own room (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
    Accommodation
    Hotel (7 nts)
    OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
    The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
    TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
    Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own.
    CHECK-IN TIME
    Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.
    PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
    If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
    Meals introduction
    While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.
    Meals
    7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 4 Dinners
    Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
    EUR 150.00
    Transport
    Bicycle, 4x4, Support vehicle
    Your entire luggage will be carried by the support vehicle (longwheelbase four wheel drives), which will be following the group all the time (except for those taking singletrack options). You may ride as much or as little as you like. The only things you need carry with you on the bike are your valuables, sun cream, camera and water bottle, etc.
    Group leader
    There will be an Exodus UK leader and support drivers. There will be an additional local biking guide for groups of 12-15 clients.
    Joining point
    Agadir
    Agadir
    MOROCCO
    Arrival complications
    We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
    If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the starting point hotel, following the Joining Instructions in these Trip Notes. Should this occur, please apply to your travel agent for a refund of the transfer cost on your return.
    No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
    Finish point
    Agadir
    Agadir
    MOROCCO
    Emergency contact
    In the case of genuine crisis or emergency please call our partner EXODUS on their 24 HOUR EMERGENCY NUMBER Tel: +44 (0) 1582 644 100.
    For all other enquiries please contact our Reservations department which is open 24 hours, 6 days per week. For further contact details please use the following page:
    Emergency funds
    Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
    Visas
    Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
    We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
    MOROCCO:
    Australia: No - Not required
    Belgium: No - Not required
    Canada: No - Not required
    Germany: No - Not required
    Ireland: No - Not required
    Netherlands: No - Not required
    New Zealand: No - Not required
    South Africa: Yes - in advance (in general, visa processing can take approximately 20 working days)
    Switzerland: No - Not required
    UK: No - Not required
    USA: No - Not required
    Those who do not require visas to visit Morocco as a tourist, are stamped in on arrival for 3 months.
    Issues on your trip
    While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
    We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
    You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
    What to take
    What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb.
    Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
    You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
    WATER BOTTLE:
    Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day
    LOCAL BIKE HIRE::
    Trek 4900 Disc mountain bikes with front suspension £95, paid on booking.'In-country' bike hire should be arranged at the time of booking, and the cost will be added to your invoice. Please note that in a few locations, there may be a limited number of bikes available locally. On the rare occasion there is not a bike available, we will inform you of this prior to departure. You would then be required to either bring your own, or hire one in the UK.
    BRINGING YOUR OWN BIKE:
    Many people choose to bring their own bikes on our trips. If you wish to bring your own bike, please note that we cannot guarantee against small scratches and paintwork damage involved in the loading and unloading from support vehicles. For more detailed information on bringing a bike from the UK (hired from Exodus, or your own), Information Sheet MBX will be sent to you on booking. This can also be found on our website at: www.exodus.co.uk/assets/pdf/MBX.pdf
    EXTRA BIKE BITS:
    You may like to bring your own pedals and saddle (excluding the seat post) or gel saddle cover to fit to the hire bikes.
    "We encourage this, if it is your preference. However, please note that you are responsible for your own equipment, and removing your saddle/pedals at the end of the trip. We cannot guarantee the return of any bike parts left behind.
    Spare inner tubes, puncture repair kit and a small portable pump are very useful along with a supply of your favourite energy bars or drink powder.
    HELMETS AND SAFETY:
    Exodus believes that all cyclists should wear helmets in the interests of personal safety, and our leaders are required to do so at all times on all trips. Customers must wear helmets at all times on any 'off-road' cycling holiday and certain 'road'
    cycling trip (where this is applicable it is clearly stated in these Trip Notes). On most road cycling holidays, wearing a helmet is strongly recommended, but we accept that some customers will want to exercise their own choice in this matter. Those who decide not to wear a helmet do so entirely at their own risk, and in the knowledge that some 'road' trips may include some 'off-road' sections. If wishing to use a helmet you must bring your own with you as they are not
    available for hire.
    Cycling of all kinds has its dangers and accidents can happen from time to time. Please ensure that you are properly prepared for the riding you are going to undertake.
    CLIMATE, CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT:
    Mountains can always make their own weather and as a result we may occasionally be forced to amend the itinerary for part of the trip, particularly on days that involve river crossings. On the plains, the days are usually warm to hot (above 25ºC) but the nights are cooler. In the higher areas and the mountains, days should be warm or even hot in October and April, with clear skies, but the nights are often cold. On the high ridges of the High Atlas there is sometimes snow, but not normally enough to affect the areas we cycle in - in the event of a track being closed we will arrange a suitable alternative ride. Rainfall in the areas we visit is relatively low though there is a chance of rain particularly on trips in December, January and February. Although unusual, there is also the possibility of much colder weather during these times.
    You are required to bring the following personal items, which we view as crucial for the health and safety of our clients:
    - a helmet
    - eye-protection (sunglasses)
    - cycling gloves
    - waterbottles or hydration system (e.g. camelbak).
    Recommended Cycling Clothing include:
    Padded cycling shorts (with loose 'over-shorts' where recommended), breathable clothing, and a lightweight waterproof/windproof top. Shoes with relatively stiff soles are better for biking, but are not essential unless you are cycling long distances Most people want to carry certain items with them during the day while cycling, for this we recommend a large bum-bag or small closefitting daysack. Long trousers, waterproof jacket, a couple of warm layers, sunglasses, sun cream, sunhat and stiff-soled shoes suitable for cycling may be useful.
    Please be aware that you will be passing through some remote villages where the locals are unaccustomed to seeing people in tight lycra - we recommend you wear baggy shorts or loose 'over shorts' so as not to cause offence.
    Health
    All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
    You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
    Safety
    Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
    We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
    Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
    For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:
    FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
    Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.
    TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
    Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!
    PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
    While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
    SCAMS:
    When walking through touristy areas of cities you may be approached by 'helpful' locals who want to show you where to go or take you to a local spice shop. They will either ask to be your local guide for the day or expect money when you arrive at your destination. Please note these people are not registered guides and will try and get as much money from you as they can. A friendly 'no thank you (or 'la Shukran') should suffice.
    MOROCCAN TAGINES:
    Moroccan ceramic tagines bought in the souks or other shops in Morocco may contain high levels of lead. We strongly recommend you have any tagine you buy in Morocco tested before cooking with it or buy for decorative purposes only.
    Travel insurance
    Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
    When travelling on a group trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
    If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
    Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
    Responsible Travel
    We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
    Morocco can be considered a liberal Muslim country as many Moroccan women do not wear headscarves. However, Morocco is very conservative when compared with standards you may be accustomed to at home and you should dress accordingly. As a general guideline, shoulders, cleavage and knees should be covered at all times. Wearing shorts (men and women), low-cut tops, and showing midriff is not recommended as it will restrict your entry into buildings of a religious nature and family homes, and is considered disrespectful to the local culture. Long, light-coloured, lightweight sleeved shirts, trousers and skirts are respectful, cover your body, keep you cool in the heat and protect you from the harsh sun.
    A couple of rules
    Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
    The Intrepid Foundation
    Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
    The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your group leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
    Responsible Travel projects
    Organisations and projects currently supported by The Intrepid Foundation in Morocco include:
    * Project Handicapped Horizon has assisted with the rehabilitation, health and empowerment of more than 3,000 disabled people. With two major departments, one is dedicated to the design, building and fitting of prosthetic limbs and other orthotics, footwear and mobility aids. While the other focuses on training local artisans and selling their products.
    Intrepid Travel also supports the following non-profit organisations:
    * Kasbah Myriam is a carpet and embroidery workshop run by Franciscan nuns with the aim of providing sustainable employment and healthcare to local Berber women.
    * The SPANA animal hospital in Marrakech cares for the health and welfare of donkeys, dogs and cats.
    Feedback
    After your travels, we want to hear from you! This is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next trip if your feedback is completed online within 4 weeks of finishing your trip.